Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Traitors grate

I don't suppose that Adrian Graves' (who he?) defection would have even made regional TV news but for the current leadership contest. Parliamentary candidates for development seats (in Suffolk West we finished third with 17 per cent of the vote in 2005) are pretty low in the Lib Dem food chain. Certainly as a majority group leader in a district council I would expect to have precedence over them in any parade of Lib Dem worthies.

James Graham pretty much sums up my view of defections. Unless there is a whole string of them they have little impact on the public and are a bit of a one-minute wonder. They often look cynical rather than principled. I hope the Paul Marsden episode taught the Lib Dems a bit of a lesson.


Angus J Huck said...

For me, one of the most cringe-inducing moments in modern British politics was Paul Marsden attempting to explain to "Newsnight" why he wasn't planning to resign his seat and fight a byelection. He started every sentence with the word "obviously" - and I mean absolutely every sentence. ("Obviously" is to Paul what "in terms of" is the CK.) Basically, he was completely lost and out of his depth.

His exit proved to be even more embarrassing (for him, that is, not us). And the poetry was truly awful - worse than McGonagall.

Why did he do it? Well, basically, he fell out with Tony Blair and the bullying Labour whips. I don't think he was a particularly ideological person. He probably could have survived pretty comfortably on the Lib Dem benches had he been possessed of a more stable personality.

As for Brian Sedgemore, he used to be a Tribunite - a follower of Tony Benn and Michael Foot!

But then we have Emma Nicholson, a genuine convert, who was in the wrong party. Emma will not go back to the Tories, because she never really was a Tory in the first place.

Now, do remember some of the characters we had land in the SDP. James Wellbeloved ("Mr Muchdisliked"), Michael O'Halloran (only rarely sober), and Dr Jesse Dickson Mabon (apologist for Saudi Arabia) - Mabon is still alive, the other two are not. And I think we even had Lord George-Brown at one point ("democrats get democked" - when you're blotto, that's what happens to the English language). Oh, and I cannot remember anyone more rude, arrogant and crudely assertive than Colin Phipps.

cymrumark said...

come come Ian.. Adrian Greaves was Vice Chair of the candidates association.....

People change parties for all sorts of reasons but if you are unhappy its probably best to let your membership lapse quietly then a few months later join your new party. This way at least some of the people in your old party will still speak to you and you look less like an opportunist/traitor etc....

I suspect there may be a few Lib dems taking this course soon.